With this pioneering book introducing participatory approaches in rural development, the author challenges preconceptions dominating rural development at the time. The central theme of the book is that rural poverty is often unseen or misperceived by outsiders, those who are not themselves rural and poor. The author contends that researchers, scientists, administrators and fieldworkers rarely appreciate the richness and validity of rural peopleÆs knowledge, or the hidden nature of rural poverty. He argues for a new professionalism, with fundamental reversals in outsidersÆ learning, values and behavior, and proposes more realistic action for tackling rural poverty. The book is divided into eight chapters focusing on rural poverty unperceived (i.e. as perceived by outsiders); two cultures of outsiders, negative academics vs. positive practitioners; how outsiders learn; power structures and knowledge; integrated rural poverty including deprivation, vulnerability and powerlessness; making priorities for action; reversals in professional values and bridging gaps between disciplines, professions and departments; and recommendations and discussion of practical actions.
Successful Approaches to Participatory Research: The Sudan Reforestation and Antidesertification Project
This paper introduces a Government of Sudan project to restore agricultural production and rehabilitate drought affected areas in western Sudan. This is to be done by (i) collecting information on tree and vegetation cover, and (ii) providing assistance to support institutions and communities in forest resource management and conservation. The project's main thrust is a farmer/client -oriented, participatory approach to forestry and research. The organisation of the project and the PRA methods used are outlined, and the activities involved are described in detail. The project involved collaboration between researchers, NGOs and clients (resource users). The advantages and constraints of these linkages are discussed in depth.
The Highlander Center, a non-profit adult education centre in Tennessee, is working in three rural communities where unemployment has been growing. Their role is "not to create jobs or development, but to help the community undertake a process of education and participatory research through which they could assess their own situation, define and implement strategies for themselves". This article describes briefly the methods used, such as oral histories, community mapping and drawings, videos and community theatre.
Proceedings of the First World Congress on Action Research and Process Management. Vol. 2: Case studies and experiences
Volume 2 of the proceedings from the 1990 First World Congress on Action Research and Process Management includes papers that describe case studies and experiences of the application of Action Learning, Action Research and Process Management. Volume 1 covers workshops and papers related to Action Learning, Action Research and Process Management Theory and Praxis Frameworks. Many of the case studies and experiences in this volume (2) are concerned with collaboration and group processes. In particular, they are about peopleÆs experiences of working together to create a new order in our society. Two of the papers deal with Information Technology (IT) which the editor thinks will have the most significant influencing factor in the creation of a new order. One of the papers gives a glimpse of what is to come when IT is harnessed for social change paper, through a case study on the use of computers in interactive environmental monitoring projects for secondary schools. The other paper describes an action-based approach to address IT education. The other papers cover a variety of aspects of the application of action learning and research, or process management to areas such as higher education, self-directed learning, crisis communication, organisational change, the writing process, religious beliefs, agricultural development, leadership, reflective learning and secondary school teaching. The case studies are taken from, India, Hong Kong, UK, New Zeeland, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and USA.
Proceedings of the First World Congress on Action Research and Process Management. Vol. 1 Theory and praxis framework
Volume 1 of the proceedings from the 1990 First World Congress on Action Research and Process Management covers workshops and papers related to Action Learning, Action Research and Process Management Theory and Praxis Frameworks. Volume 2 includes papers that describe case studies and experiences of the application of Action Learning, Action Research and Process Management. Part 1 of this book concentrates on Action Learning and Research with papers on experimental learning, teaching action research and putting praxis into action, with applications in networking, postmerger integration, graduate management research programmes education, and academic management. One paper also discusses the legitimisation and implementation of action learning and research in the future. The second part of the book focuses around process management with papers on information transfer within agricultural systems, training and development, organisational effectiveness and structure, and the analyses general constraints and benefits of process management.
Effective health planning requires good quality data, but many health facilities lack the ability to provide this. Health questions often have to be answered within specific research studies. Microcomputers are now generally recommended and used by researchers for data analysis at the end of projects. The article reviews the use of microcomputer based management of data collection during a study. A selection of pojects are described, all of which have used microcomputers in a decentralised fachio, closer to the point of data collection. The main advantages of this approach are a significant reduction in error rates, and the ability to produce data quickly.
Participatory action research is presented as a social research method and process and as a goal that social research should always strive to achieve. This paper describes the key features and strengths of participatory action research, and briefly analyses its role in promoting social change through organisational learning in three very different kinds of organisations. It is argued that participatory action research is always an emergent process that can often be intensified and that works effectively to link participation, social action and knowledge generation.
Listening to Local Voices: Adapting Rapid Appraisal to Assess Health and Social Needs in General Practice
This paper explores the use of rapid appraisal in defining the health and social needs of a community. The aim is to formulate joint action plans between residents and service providers. Data was collected by an extended primary care team from three sources to build a profile of the community: existing documents about the neighbourhood, interviews with a range of informants, and direct observations. Perceived problems of the community and suggestions for change were used as the main outcome measures of the study. Interviews and focus groups identified six priorities for change, many of which were not health related. These changes have been or are being implemented. The paper concludes that an expanded primary care team can use rapid appraisal as a first step in identifying and meeting local health needs. It facilitates a multi-disciplinary approach and complements quantitative methods of assessing need.
This paper starts with a critical review of conventional research methodologies, such as the social survey and ethnographic research and their limitations and biases. It then discusses the main features of alternative research methodologies, such as conscientising and participatory research and their rationale. Part two of the paper provides a detailed account of Urban Research Centre's (URC) work on participatory research and action which emphasises understanding people's situations, institutions and perspectives and supporting them. Researchers involved in participatory research have to find new ways of collecting information involving people and disseminating it at the community level so that research can benefit both the researcher and the community.
This paper addresses the issue of participation in education and argues that operations in the education sector can be greatly improved by increasing stakeholder participation of government officials, education professionals, local communities and the private sector including NGOs. It further argues that participation can help to increase the relevance and quality of education, improve ownership and build consensus, reach remote and disadvantaged groups, mobilise additional resources, and build institutional capacity. It however identifies that participatory operations involve risks and costs and identifies certain preconditions that are necessary for its success.